A Thousand Goddesses: Some Nice, Some Not So Nice – Take Your Pick

The cover of Patricia Monaghan's book, Encyclopedia of Goddesses & Heroines shows Perdita by painter Frederick Sandys.

“Perdita” by painter Frederick Sandys adorns the cover of Patricia Monaghan’s  Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines. Perdita is a heroine of  “A Winter’s Tale.”

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I wish I had known Patricia Monaghan. She died a year and a half ago after a rich life as a poet, author, Goddess scholar, and pioneer and mentor in the contemporary women’s spirituality movement. She was an academic, yes, but also a hands-on kind of woman. According to her husband, she was as concerned about the temperature of her root cellar as [Read more...]


The Sad State of the Supermarket Strawberry

An oversized red strawberry is bigger than the bowl of the spoon it rests on. Photo by BF Newhall

One of the strawberries Jon brought home: bigger than the bowl of a teaspoon. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I’m worried about the strawberry. It’s too late for the tomato. Its innards were transformed into colorless, flavorless – but easily shippable – pulp decades ago. Which is why I’m concerned about the strawberry. Is it going the way of the tomato?

Jon brought home a plastic bin of them the other day. They were huge, almost [Read more...]


The Weekend I Talked — And the Kids Listened

A traditional house in an snowy, tree lined neighborhood in southwest Minneapolis offered by Edina Realty. Photo by BF Newhall

A traditional neighborhood with lots of charm in southwest Minneapolis. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

You know your kids have turned into grown-ups when they listen to your advice. I don’t mean take your advice. I mean listen – gently and kindly – as you talk away about how you did things when you were their age. Or how you did things last week. Or how they [Read more...]


Tulips and Sex — Writing as If Everyone I Know Were Dead

Two deep pink tulips bloom at Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA. Photo by BF Newhall

Deep pink tulips at their peak — just opening. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I want to write about tulips today. I don’t want to write about sex. The trouble is, for me, writing about tulips means writing about sex: something about their juicy curves brings erotic metaphors to my particular mind.

I thought that once my mother — and father — were no longer alive [Read more...]


For Wetter, for Drier — I’m Married to California

The hills of southern California on the Grapevine near Gorman are grey from drought. Photo by BF Newhall

Normally these slopes on the Grapevine near Gorman in Southern California would be a lush green from winter rains by now. Instead they are grey with last year’s dead grass. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Note: This column first appeared in the Oakland Tribune on February 19, 1989, during a California drought. This year’s  drought is far worse, Jon tells me.

Basically, there are two kinds of Californian. Those who are delighted by a sunny February day. And those who are dismayed. [Read more...]

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